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Pink Floyd - Meddle CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.30 | 3197 ratings

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4 stars Meddle is the first in the Pink Floyd canon that actually sounds like a Pink Floyd album. With Atom Heart Mother, the band was progressing towards that now familiar Floyd sound, but they couldn't quite shake off those Syd Barrett-psychedelic cobwebs. With Meddle, Pink Floyd would firmly plant themselves alongside other prog giants such as Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and Gentle Giant, among others. While I have much praise for this album, I'm obliged to note its inconsistencies, which is the reason why it'll never achieve the legendary status of such heavyweights as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall. Still, I would firmly entrench Meddle in that Top 5 of classic Pink Floyd albums, if only because of the presence of the epic side-length piece "Echoes", quite possibly the greatest masterpiece in the Pink Floyd songbook.

Meddle contains three top-notch songs that rank highly among Pink Floyd's compositions. Those are "One of These Days", "Fearless" and "Echoes". "One of These Days" is an instrumental with a distinct muted bass and a single ominous line from Nick Mason: "One of These Days I'm Going to Cut You Up Into Little Pieces!" It's a high-tempo piece which sets the album up beautifully and segues into the much more subdued "A Pillow of Winds", one of the few ballads the group ever wrote. "A Pillow of Winds" is actually a quite lovely song, but considering the group its from, it's a little disappointing for the average Pink Floyd listener. The next track is the second great piece on Meddle, "Fearless". Ah, the days when David Gilmour and Roger Waters would write songs TOGETHER, and everything turned out wonderful. "Fearless" is a song about an "idiot" who is determined to do everything his own way, and I think it's a wonderful piece about bucking conformity and going about things in your own manner. The track does fade out with a quite annoying chant from Liverpool fans, but most Pink Floyd fans will be able to live with that. "San Tropez" is an easy listening (!) piece from Roger Waters about lounging around said resort island and "drinking champagne like a good tycoon." It sounds hideous at first, but with repeated listens, it's actually not quite bad. Side One concludes with "Seamus", a humorous blues track from David Gilmour's dog. No seriously. The dog puts on quite a good show with the vocals. There's not very many dogs capable of what "Seamus" does on this track.

Now, for the magnum opus, "Echoes". "Echoes" is majestic, as close to religious music as Pink Floyd would ever get - and yes, that includes "Atom Heart Mother"- before Dark Side would release "Time" and "The Great Gig in the Sky". Reportedly, "Echoes" was supposed to be about space, but Roger Waters changed the lyrics to reflect ocean life, because he didn't like that the band was being shoehorned into the "space rock" movement, and he wanted to get the band far removed from that moniker. "Echoes" opens up with a distinctive keyboard note from Richard Wright that would recur throughout the song. The guitar playing from David Gilmour is fantastic, and in the middle of the song the band suddenly shifts gears and transitions into a long buildup, with Wright playing the organ and Gilmour playing muted notes on the guitar, supposedly inspired by "Good Vibrations". "Echoes" is a must-listen track for any prog fan, and especially any Pink Floyd fan. Definitely their best song from the pre-Dark Side of the Moon era.

Meddle is a great album, but because of it's inconsistencies it can't truly be called a Pink Floyd "classic" in the vein of Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Her, Animals and The Wall. However, Meddle is one of the group's best efforts, and it marks the album when the band shook off the chains of their psychedelic roots and steered full-steam ahead into the ocean of prog. That said, Meddle is a landmark album for Pink FLoyd, and definitely an album that every prog fan should give a listen to.

PoolmanProgger | 4/5 |


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